Perspectives on Practice & Policy

Perspectives on Practice and Policy - BOTSWANA

The Republic of Botswana is a small landlocked country located in southern Africa. A British colony for 81 years, Botswana gained independence in 1966. Botswana’s population currently is about 2 million, according to the 2010 census.

Perspectives on Practice and Policy - BOTSWANA

Botswana is a diverse nation with various ethnic groups, both Setswana speaking and non-Setswana speaking. The ethnic groups include Batswana, as in Setswana-speaking groups (79 percent); Kalanga, the largest minority group (11 percent); Basarwa, often classified as a marginalized group (3 percent); Kgalagadi, also classified as a marginalized group (3 percent); white Africans (3 percent); and other groups (1 percent). English is the official language, while Setswana is the national language and is the medium of instruction in the public schools, despite the fact that not all groups speak Setswana as their mother tongue. There are about 28 other spoken languages in Botswana.

Politically, Botswana is recognised globally as an example of a successful African democracy because it has had peaceful elections since independence and has avoided internal violent conflicts.

Botswana’s economy is largely sustained by the diamonds mined at Orapa and Jwaneng mines, as well as by the tourism and beef industries. As of 2012, Botswana had an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) of US$17,596 billion (International Monetary Fund, 2013). Botswana is classified as having a medium value on the Human Development Index (HDI), with a score of 0.633 compared to the highest HDI ranking of 0.943 for Norway (Human Development Report, 2011:128). Most developed countries have pulled back on providing aid because they feel Botswana can do without their help.

Its education system continues to be shaped by the 1977 National Commission on Education (NCE) document (Republic of Botswana, 1977), commonly known as Education for Kagisano (education for social harmony); the 1994 Revised National Policy on Education (Republic of Botswana, 1994); as well as Vision 2016 (Republic of Botswana, 1997).

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Publication Date: 
April 29, 2014